Odes Desert Cross 1000 Review (Can You Trust This Model?)

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If you read a review of Odes UTVs, you’ll see that there’s a pretty good reason for their brief disappearance from the industry in recent years.

But they seem to be working back towards relevance after their recent split from Massimo UTVs.

And one of their newest models, the Desert Cross 1000, is about as eye-catching as you’ll find across the UTV scene and includes a number of unique features.

So has Odes shed some of the negative reputation that surrounded some of the older models like the Odes Dominator 800, or are there still some red flags with their new models?

This Odes Desert Cross 1000 review will help you answer that for yourself, in detailing all of the good and bad with these models around the following:

  • Current models and how they differ
  • Build quality
  • Performance
  • Key features and accessories by model
  • What owners like
  • What owners dislike

About The Odes Desert Cross 1000

Joining the Jungle Cross 1000 as Odes’ newest UTV models, the Desert Cross 1000 line consists of three different models:

  • Odes Desert Cross 1000-3
  • Odes Desert Cross 100-3 HVAC
  • Odes Desert Cross 1000-6 HVAC

The Desert Cross 1000-3 is the three-seater base model which comes much less loaded but also much less expensive.

The Desert Cross 1000-3 HVAC and 1000-6 HVAC models seat three and six riders respectively and come fully loaded with unique features like a fully enclosed cab package, automatic dump bed, and an HVAC system to heat and cool the cab.

Each of these models come with aggressive body styling that includes a metal outer body and resembles a military-style humvee.

These models look about as tough as it gets, but do they run that way as well?  

Let’s have a look at both the good and bad of their build quality and performance.

Build Quality & Performance


The Desert Cross models are powered by a 1000cc V-Twin engine that maxes out around 85 horsepower.

The engine offers excellent low-end power, so it’ll motor you through pretty much any terrain out there even with its heavy weight.

It’s not all that impressive top speed-wise, but on the trails this model will go pretty much anywhere any of the other side-by-sides can go and will keep up just fine at your usually low and mid trail riding speeds.

This big V-Twin is loud, both in and out of the cab, which is to be expected but can leave a ring in your ears after longer rides.

Engine TypeFour-Stroke
Cylinder ArrangementV-Twin
Max Horsepower85 HP
Fuel SupplyElectronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
Engine CoolingLiquid Cooling
Fuel Capacity12.7 Gallons
Ignition SystemElectronic Control Unit (ECU)


The Desert Cross 1000 models each offer selectable 2WD/4WD along with front differential lock via a switch on the dash.

But you also have the ability to unlock the rear differential and put the vehicle in “turf mode”, which essentially puts it in “one-wheel” drive so that you don’t tear up your grass or leave marks on your driveway when turning sharply.

An automatic CVT transmission provides smooth shifts, and a dash-mounted gear shifter enables you to select from both High and Low ranges along with Neutral, Reverse, and Park settings.

When you throw this vehicle into 4WD and Low gear, there’s not many steep terrains it won’t crawl up and conquer.

Drive System2WD/4WD w/ Locking Front Diff & Turf Mode
Transmission TypeAutomatic CVT
Gear Shift PatternL-H-N-R-P

Suspension & Steering

The front and rear suspension of the Desert Cross 1000 models all feature independent double A-Arms, with a rear sway arm.  

The aluminum A-Arms guards are also a nice touch for added protection.

This suspension style makes for a pretty smooth ride in all terrains and does well not to jolt you around very much off-road.

All models come equipped with electronic power steering, which is a must with these heavy vehicles.

And with an impressive ground clearance of 12.5 inches, you’ll rarely have to worry about bottoming these big boys out.

Wheelbase123 inches
Ground Clearance12.5 inches
Front SuspensionIndependent Double A-Arm
Rear SuspensionIndependent Double A-Arm

Tires & Brakes

You’ll find 27-inch stock tires in both the front and rear of these models.

The tires feature aggressive tread patterns that offer plenty of traction in any terrain including mud, snow, dirt, and steep hills.

Each model also offers blacked out aluminum rims, which add to the vehicles’ appearance.

There are front and rear hydraulic disc brakes, which together provide plenty of stopping power for these big vehicles.

Front Tires27 x 9-14
Rear Tires27 x 11-14
Front Brake TypeHydraulic Disc
Rear Brake TypeHydraulic Disc

Dimensions & Capacities

They don’t make them much bigger than this, which seems obvious given the Odes Desert Cross resembles a slightly smaller military-style humvee.

They measure in between 132 and 164 inches long, 73 to 76 inches wide, and 76.7 inches tall and weigh in around 1,850 to 2,150 lbs depending on the model.

We don’t need to tell you that these big boys aren’t going to be able to snake through tight trails or wooded areas as big as they are.

But their size is really their only limitation when it comes to the type of trails or terrain they can tackle.

They offer a solid towing capacity of 1,500 lbs and can haul up to around 500 lbs in the good-sized rear cargo beds.

Length132.4 in / 163.7 in (6-seater)
Width73.6 in / 75.3 in (6-seater)
Height76.7 in
Weight1,850 lbs / 2,150 lbs (6-seater)
Cargo Bed Dimensions42.5 x 65.5 x 10.25 in
Towing Capacity 1,500 lbs

Features & Accessories

While the Odes Desert Cross 1000-3 base model doesn’t offer much in the way of accessories, it does still include a few you might not find on many other base models:

  • Hard top roof
  • Windshield
  • Front bumper and winch

But the Desert Cross 1000 HVAC models are absolutely loaded when it comes to features and accessories, making them almost more automobile-like than UTV-like.

  • Fully enclosed cabs including full side doors, slide windows, roof, and glass windshield with wiper.
  • Installed HVAC/heater with in-cab adjustable vents and temperature controls via switches on the dash.
  • Individual leather seats with seat belts (three or six depending on model) giving riders plenty of legroom and shoulder space.
  • Automatic power dump bed controlled via a switch on the side of the vehicle which also converts to a flat bed.

Aside from these unique features, these models also come flush with the following accessories that make them more driveable both on-road and off-road from the jump.

  • Heavy duty front bumper
  • Built in plow-mount
  • 5,500 lbs front winch
  • LED headlights
  • LED light bars on front roof and front grill
  • Rear work light on the rear roof
  • Turn signals
  • Brake/tail lights
  • Hazard lights
  • Horn
  • Foldable side mirrors
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Coolant and fuel gauges
  • Gear and drive mode indicators
  • Adjustable front and rear seats
  • Fold down center console
  • Heavy duty rear bumper

What Owners Like

  • The exterior metal/steel is much stronger than plastic and helps avoid scratches when riding through woods or brush.
  • The full cab enclosures of the HVAC models are very convenient for riding in all types of weather and conditions.
  • The heater comes in clutch for those in colder climates and during the winter.
  • The AC won’t keep your cab all that cool, but it will make a big difference during the warmest months.
  • The vents are easily adjustable and sealable like you’d find in a standard vehicle.
  • The automatic power dump bed requires zero manual work besides the push of a button, and tilts up to a nice high angle so that your cargo can slide on out.
  • The adjustable seats each slide forward and back to make riders of all lengths comfortable.
  • The LED headlights and light bars make night riding awesome.

What Owners Dislike

  • The gas pedals in these models extend a bit high off the floors making for awkward foot placement.
  • Dust and water are known to find their way into the enclosed cabs through small leaks in the front windshield and rear door areas.
  • The stock stator harnesses on the Odes vehicles have a tendency to melt at the connector plug to the main harness.
  • Replacement parts are hard to come by and can take months to arrive.
  • The battery will drain pretty fast in these models if they sit for more than a week or so, highly recommended to hook them up the the Battery Tender Plus when not in use.
  • Depending upon where you live, dealers and service centers may be few and far between and it can be hard to find repair shops that will work on Odes vehicles.
  • Dealer support through Odes for service and warranty work can be hit or miss as they are only recently back up and running from bankruptcy.  Certain dealers are better than others when it comes to going to bat for you with Odes, so it’s advised to vet yours before buying.
  • The overall reliability of Odes machines in general is lower than what you’ll find with many other brands, including the less-familiar ones.  Many vehicles work great, but there seem to be a higher proportion of Odes owners who experience issues than with other names across the industry.

For some of the problems that plagued older models, check out this guide to common problems with the Odes Dominator 800.

Final Note

The Odes Desert Cross 1000 is an absolute tank, and as an owner you may as well be driving an SUV around on the trails.

But it’s not without some drawbacks, and it’s yet to be seen whether Odes has turned around some of the reliability issues with both their vehicles and company as a whole with these models.

Time will tell whether Odes can land one of these models on the list of best UTVs for the money.